Why You Should Go to New York City This Spring

These exhibits, hotels, and annual events are just a few reasons to visit New York this season.

Why You Should Go to New York City This Spring

Spring blossoms in Manhattan

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

If you paid attention to the weather reports coming out of New York this winter, it didn’t look pretty. Between single-digit temperatures and snow squalls, it’s been enough to keep the toughest local indoors. But when spring arrives, the city comes alive—and this year is particularly exciting. Not only are annual events like the cherry blossom bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Tribeca Film Festival happening once again, but they’ll also be joined by two highly anticipated hotels, the opening of a brand new neighborhood, and the largest Frida Kahlo exhibit in the United States in 10 years.


Nickolas Muray (American, born Hungary, 1892–1965). Frida in New York, 1946

Courtesy of Nickolas Muray/Brooklyn Museum

See Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving at the Brooklyn Museum
This winter, art lovers flocked to the Guggenheim and the Whitney for blockbuster exhibits. But this spring, Brooklyn is the place to be for art fanatics. Beginning February 8, The Brooklyn Museum opens the doors to Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, the largest exhibition devoted to the artist in the United States in a decade. In addition to paintings and drawings, the exhibit also includes photographs of Kahlo alongside the personal clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics that helped craft her identity and creative vision. Through May 12, 2019; 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, $25, brooklynmuseum.org


Some of the oldest cherry trees are located around the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you time it right, you could easily see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and the cherry blossom bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on the same day. Located directly behind the museum, the gardens are home to two dozen varieties of flowering cherry trees that bloom each year from around late March to early April, and they sometimes last until mid-May. Keep track of the peak bloom at the garden’s online Cherrywatch map. 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, $15, bbg.org


The exterior of the soon-to-open TWA Hotel at JFK Airport

Courtesy of MCR

Check in to the TWA Hotel
On May 15, the 1962 landmark building by architect Eero Saarinen will reopen as TWA Hotel, JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel. Located at Terminal 5, the 512-room property (starting rates not yet available) will feature a rooftop pool, an observation deck, and a cocktail lounge located inside a repurposed Lockheed Constellation L-1649A. Guests should also look forward to dining at six restaurants, including the Paris Cafe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. JFK Airport, twahotel.com


View of the Public Square and Gardens at Hudson Yards

Courtesy of Forbes Massie-Heatherwick Studio

Explore Hudson Yards
In New York, most neighborhoods evolve slowly over the years to become such iconic areas as SoHo, Greenwich Village, and DUMBO. But on March 15, New York will debut its newest neighborhood all at once. Built in the once desolate area north of Chelsea and below Hells Kitchen, Hudson Yards will have not only the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, but also more than 100 shops and restaurants (Thomas Keller, David Chang, and Jose Andres are all involved). Its central art piece consists of 154 interconnected flights of stairs and is designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio. hudsonyardsnewyork.com


Ace Hotels says Sister City will open on March 1, 2019.

Photo by Brian W. Ferry

Check in to Atelier Ace’s first property beyond Ace Hotels
Atelier Ace, the studio behind the Ace Hotel group, is opening its first nonbranded spin-off property on the Lower East Side in March 2019. Sister City, as the 200-room hotel will be called, is now taking reservations from March 1, 2019, onward and rates start at $199 per night. Featuring minimalist Scandinavian design, the hotel will also have a restaurant by chef Joe Ogrondek called Floret and a rooftop bar. 225 Bowery, Manhattan, sistercitynyc.com


Passes to the Tribeca Film Festival go on sale February 19.

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Attend the 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival
Started in 2002 to revitalize downtown Manhattan after 9/11, the Tribeca Film Festival returns this year from April 24 to May 5. While the full lineup of feature length and short films has yet to be announced, a highlight of this year’s festival is the 35th anniversary celebration of This Is Spinal Tap, with a musical performance from the movie’s stars and creators, including Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. Tickets go on sale starting February 19. tribecafilm.com

This article originally appeared online on February 1, 2019; it was updated on February 8, 2019 to include current information.

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Lyndsey Matthews is the Senior Commerce Editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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